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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted a do-it-all bike that was more playful than XC, and have narrowed it down to the Marin SQ2; however, this would be a big departure from the brands I am comfortable with... how is the Marin brand viewed/respected in the biking community when compared to Giant, Specialized, and Trek?

My LBS is an active Trek dealer that will likely have 2022 Roscoe 7's in the near future. Yes, I would rather stay with smaller 27.5" wheels, but does the new Roscoe (with updated geometry) have anything over the MSQ2 that I should consider?

Thanks!
 

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Both have a bottom tier RL fork with limited performance from the Motion Control plastic damper that can't be upgraded. Not much small bump compliance and stops working at higher speeds.
Flexy 32mm stanchions at 140 or 130mm travel.
29 wheels are a plus for rollover and speed.

The Marzocchi Z2 fork on the Ragley Big Al 1.0 is the best out there until you spend $1k on a fork. Better than the Revelation on the SQ3.
And the frame has good rear compliace designed and built in. Same price as a Roscoe but no tax and free shipping makes it cheaper. Usually restocks in 2-4 weeks. Get on the notification list. Arrives in 4 days when back in stock.

Look at the YT review at Hardtail Party.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much eb1888 for the response. I know nothing about forks, but that YT video was interesting. Though I may be bucking the industry trend, I really wanted to stay with 27.5 wheels. I'm not planning to hit the single tracks often, but wanted something decent when I do. I understand the larger wheels are better for roll over and speed but I'm not trying to break records and I am relying on my BMX background to get me through technical portions. Not trying to argue against your recommendations, but just trying share my preferences/background (which can change). The Roscoe (with 29 wheels) was only considered because I will have the ability to test ride once available (whenever that is), but it's looking more bleak for me.

NWA, the problem with the market today is that I do not have the luxury of test riding bikes. I will have to purchase based on reviews. The MS2 or Ragley is not available locally and would have to be purchased sight unseen. The MS2 is currently available, and checks most boxes for me, but I just am unfamiliar with the Marin brand/quality. The Ragley Big AL is out of stock, but I am also unfamiliar with the brand. Brand recognition is only important to me in case I need to dump the bike. Trek, Giant, and Specialized sell much easier here in the used market, but how do the other brands compare?
 

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NWA, the problem with the market today is that I do not have the luxury of test riding bikes. I will have to purchase based on reviews. The MS2 or Ragley is not available locally and would have to be purchased sight unseen. The MS2 is currently available, and checks most boxes for me, but I just am unfamiliar with the Marin brand/quality. The Ragley Big AL is out of stock, but I am also unfamiliar with the brand. Brand recognition is only important to me in case I need to dump the bike. Trek, Giant, and Specialized sell much easier here in the used market, but how do the other brands compare?
Marin is a decent, not fabulous brand. It’s well known enough. Ragley is one that serious enthusiast love. They definitely have a cult like following. They’re also somewhat rare. The Marin SQ is based off a dirt jump frame, so might suit your BMX background…?
 

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I have a 2021 Marin alpine trail 7. It’s not a hard tail but quality seems good and I have had zero issues. If I was going hardtail on budget I’d look at the ragley bikes,Kona honzo,or the giant fathom which I’ve owned. Solid bike but the fork sucks.
 

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In the US 27.5 hardtails are not popular for resale except among noobs without trail time. In the UK aggressive hardtails are popular in 29 and 27.5.
Besides Ragley, Nukeproof and Vitus have 27.5 and 29 models.
With your budget I'd stick with bikes with a Marzocchi Z2 fork as a determining component spec.
I'd avoid the Recon fork with Motion Control damper. Poor small bump and overloads easily.
This Scout has a Z2, Shimano Deore12sp, 4-pot Shimano M6120 very strong brakes and 35mm rim wheels.

A Ragley Big Al 1.0 would resell immediately on Pinkbike Buy/Sell if you didn't like it. Just keep the shipping box and packing material.
Not so much any of the 27.5 bikes.

The fork makes a major, major impact on riding.
 

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Honestly, in terms of resale, I would get the Ragley hands down. My LBS has the SQ3 frames at $80 off right now because they aren't selling...I see Scout's for sale here in NWA and they take a hot minute to sell. Fewer people may have heard of Ragley, but those who know are fanatical about them.
 

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Thank you so much eb1888 for the response. I know nothing about forks, but that YT video was interesting. Though I may be bucking the industry trend, I really wanted to stay with 27.5 wheels. I'm not planning to hit the single tracks often, but wanted something decent when I do. I understand the larger wheels are better for roll over and speed but I'm not trying to break records and I am relying on my BMX background to get me through technical portions. Not trying to argue against your recommendations, but just trying share my preferences/background (which can change). The Roscoe (with 29 wheels) was only considered because I will have the ability to test ride once available (whenever that is), but it's looking more bleak for me.

NWA, the problem with the market today is that I do not have the luxury of test riding bikes. I will have to purchase based on reviews. The MS2 or Ragley is not available locally and would have to be purchased sight unseen. The MS2 is currently available, and checks most boxes for me, but I just am unfamiliar with the Marin brand/quality. The Ragley Big AL is out of stock, but I am also unfamiliar with the brand. Brand recognition is only important to me in case I need to dump the bike. Trek, Giant, and Specialized sell much easier here in the used market, but how do the other brands compare?
If you prefer 27.5, then the Ragley Marley is a great bike. I have one and it’s more fun than I ever would have expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The Scout 275 is real nice like; however, the deciding factor may be availability. Nukeproof and Ragley's on the Chain Reaction website is nearly wiped out. Do they really take 2-4 weeks to restock? That seems too good to be true during these times. MSQ2 is available now with very low cost shipping. The only saving grace is that I don't really need a bike now. What about an MSQ2 with a Z2 fork, and sell the RL to recoup some of the cost? Probably won't do that, just thinking out loud...
 

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The Scout 275 is real nice like; however, the deciding factor may be availability. Nukeproof and Ragley's on the Chain Reaction website is nearly wiped out. Do they really take 2-4 weeks to restock? That seems too good to be true during these times. MSQ2 is available now with very low cost shipping. The only saving grace is that I don't really need a bike now. What about an MSQ2 with a Z2 fork, and sell the RL to recoup some of the cost? Probably won't do that, just thinking out loud...
I missed two restocks of the Nukeproof Mega 290 frame this year, but then was able to get one on the third. That was three restocks within the first quarter of 2021. My frame was delivered in March.

I recently decided to get a Ragley Big Al and signed up for a restock notification. That notification came within weeks, but I was asleep when it came and they were sold out by the time I checked the site. There were, however, plenty of frames for purchase. I am currently signed up for the next restock of the Big Al and will let you know how it turns out, should you still be considering the Ragley's.

In conclusion, I believe them when they say most restocks take 2-4 weeks. If you haven't already purchased something else, it is certainly worth signing up and seeing if you get the email when it comes through. As another person in this thread commented above, when I was able to purchase the Mega 290, it arrived within a few days. Amazing during the current bike shortage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info Skeptastic, I am signed up for the Marley 1.0. However, the Nukeproof Scout would be my first choice and it is currently in stock. It is such a beauty, but there are two things holding me back. The first is the price because it is way over budget. The second is the externally routed cables on the top tube. I know it may not matter to some of you but if I'm extending myself, I would expect the bike to at least have modern cable routing. Also, I often grab the top tube when carrying my bike over obstacles and I'm not too fond of feeling cables rolling under my fingers. The Marley suffers the same issue and adds a color that is not as appealing as the Scout.

In summary, my options are still in the air. Sorry for wasting everyone's time, but thank you for enlightening me on CRC and the Z2 fork.
 

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Thanks for the info Skeptastic, I am signed up for the Marley 1.0. However, the Nukeproof Scout would be my first choice and it is currently in stock. It is such a beauty, but there are two things holding me back. The first is the price because it is way over budget. The second is the externally routed cables on the top tube. I know it may not matter to some of you but if I'm extending myself, I would expect the bike to at least have modern cable routing. Also, I often grab the top tube when carrying my bike over obstacles and I'm not too fond of feeling cables rolling under my fingers. The Marley suffers the same issue and adds a color that is not as appealing as the Scout.

In summary, my options are still in the air. Sorry for wasting everyone's time, but thank you for enlightening me on CRC and the Z2 fork.
You have wasted no one's time, always educational. I agree, I always carry my bike over downed trees, streams and rivers and such, don't want to grab cables either. I just got back from a very rocky tight technical ride, I am glossing over FS bikes, I know, I'm breakin the hardtail code.... but they sure are heavy, like 34 lbs. I'm used to 27/28 lbs.
 
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